Tony Laurance has been the WHO Representative for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since April 2008. Prior to that he worked for 8 months in WHO headquarters on emergency preparedness and response and the development of the global health cluster.
Mr Laurance started his working life as a journalist, working in Africa and for the BBC. In 1975 he joined the Department of Health and Social Security Headquarters in the United Kingdom where he worked for 30 years. He held a wide variety of senior management and policy jobs, including Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health and jobs on strategy, human resources and finance. He was appointed Regional Director for the South West in 1996 and member of the National Health Sevice (NHS) Senior Management Board, responsible for all NHS services in South West England (population 5 million), which included over 30 major hospitals.
In 2004, Mr Laurance was seconded to the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and has worked mainly in the Middle East and North Africa since then. From 2004 to 2006, he worked in Iraq supporting the restoration of health services in southern Iraq, then as adviser to the Minister of Health in Baghdad, and subsequently as head of a team advising the Prime Minister’s Office and the Cabinet Office on the development of the centre of government. In 2006, he moved to Libya where he led a review of the health sector as part of a project on public administration reform.
Tony has an MA in philosophy and economics from Cambridge University. In 2004 he was awarded a CBE for his services to the Department of Health.